This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2000).






Newby, Lindgren & Skare, Ltd.,





Carl F. Ische, et al.,



Filed November 20, 2001

Klaphake, Judge


Carlton County District Court

File No. C5000220


Patrick M. Spott, Jeremy Hurd, Orman & Nord, 1301 Miller Trunk Highway, #400, Duluth, MN  55811 (for respondent)


Matthew Begeske, John B. Schulte, 713 Board of Trade Building, 301 W. First Street, Duluth, MN  55802 (for appellants)


            Considered and decided by Schumacher, Presiding Judge, Klaphake, Judge, and Peterson, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N


            Appellants Carl and Phyllis Ische argue that the district court improperly granted summary judgment to respondent law firm, Newby, Lindgren & Skare, Ltd., in this action for collection of attorney fees.  Because appellants raised no genuine issue of material fact and respondent is entitled to judgment as a matter of law, we affirm. We further affirm the district court’s order for attachment.


I.  Summary Judgment

            When reviewing an appeal from a summary judgment, this court determines whether there are any genuine issues of material fact and whether the district court erred in its application of the law.  Cummings v. Koehnen, 568 N.W.2d 418, 420 (Minn. 1997). 

            In opposing a motion for summary judgment, the nonmoving party cannot rely on denials or general averments, but must offer specific facts to show that there is a genuine issue of material fact for trial.  Minn. R. Civ. P. 56.05; DLH, Inc. v. Russ, 566 N.W.2d 60, 69 (Minn. 1997).  A party may not rely on “unverified and [conclusory] allegations in his pleading or by postulating evidence which might be developed at trial.” Lubbers v. Anderson, 539 N.W.2d 398, 401 (Minn. 1995) (quotation omitted).

            Despite having received 77 pages of detailed time and expense records attached to the complaint, appellants never contested individual entries, but relied on general statements that the billing was higher than expected.  Further, appellants conducted only minimal discovery consisting of a cursory deposition during which they did not examine the billing records.  Respondent’s motion for summary judgment was served on appellants on October 18, 2000, and the motion was heard on December 21, 2000.  During this two-month period, appellants conducted no discovery and raised no challenge to any specific item on the billing records. 

            Because respondent provided verified information about the debt owed and offered a basis for the amount of the debt, which appellants failed to counter in any way, we conclude that respondent was entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law.

II.  Attachment

            An order for attachment to provide security for the satisfaction of a judgment may be issued if the moving party can show that the debtor is about to assign, secrete, or dispose of non-exempt property in order do defeat the creditor’s interest.  Minn. Stat. § 570.02, subd. 1(1) (2000).  The requisite intent of the debtor to assign, secrete, or dispose of non-exempt property can be inferred from the conduct of the debtor.  Greene v. Envtl. Dev. Corp., 415 N.W.2d 374, 377 (Minn. App. 1987). 

            By affidavit, respondent stated that appellants admitted that they owed respondent for legal services, but they refused to pay the bill, mentioned that they may file for bankruptcy, and contacted a bankruptcy attorney.  The parties thereafter agreed on a settlement, in which appellants would pay the reduced amount of $25,000 upon the sale of their house.  Appellants then sold the house, but refused to pay.  Appellants also owned two pieces of non-exempt property in the county that were listed for sale shortly before respondents brought this motion for attachment.  These facts, which suggest appellants intended to assign, secrete, or dispose of property in order to defeat respondent’s interest, are sufficient to satisfy the statutory requirement for issuance of an order for attachment.